My father passed away on October 8th after a six-year battle with cancer.  He had a great attitude throughout and never complained (and frequently denied the seriousness of the doctors' diagnoses).  He never got to meet his daughter-in-law and grandson in person but we videochatted frequently using QQ, and in fact we chatted via webcam the day before he died.  It's sad to know that my father is no longer in this world but I know he's with God and his body is healthy and whole again.

I jetted back to the States last week for the memorial service.  It was very moving and emotional with a few tears and many smiles.  My father was a very generous person with his time and energy and spent every free moment with people who needed a friend.  Those friends in turn showed up in droves to the service and I was very touched to see how many people my father affected.

The day after the memorial, my mother, my three younger brothers and I drove down to Daytona Beach, Florida, to relax, enjoy the sunshine, and decompress after such an emotional event.  We spent a day at Universal Studios in Orlando where we laughed and screamed and basked in the sunshine.  it was nice to see my mother having such a good time.  The last year and a half of my father's illness was very stressful for her and even though she was heartbroken to lose her husband of 33 years, she was able to enjoy a relaxing couple of days with her sons and no worries.

Of course I had to leave Tina and Nolan back in China, and it was hard to have so much fun without my own family, but this was a time for my first family.  But when I came back to China last weekend, I wsa able to make a special memory of my own.

On the way from Shanghai Pudong Int'l Airport to Tina's friend's home where I was going to spend the night before heading back to Xiamen, I got off the subway at the People's Square station.  My father and mother had visited me in China in 2006 and we had spent a couple of days in Shanghai, so my father had a direct connection there.  This time I  brought back some of my father's ashes with me and sought out a small tree in the square.  After inspecting the perimeter to make sure I wasn't being watched, I poured my father's ashes over the tree's roots.  Now my father's body will forever be a part of China, and his family is through me.